PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Beaverton teen is trying to make it easier for people who are homeless to get help by launching the “Giving Bag Initiative.”
Incoming Mountainside High School junior Aidan Ionis has already helped hand-deliver hundreds of bags filled with food and toiletries. He wants to make sure he’s not only helping someone who’s homeless — but that the kindness gets passed along to others.
“We have a bag inside the bag that says give me to a friend on it,” Ionis explained. “It helps spread the kindness if the person decides to.”
Ionis started the Giving Bag Initiative in April of this year.
“I saw that a lot of people were struggling because of COVID, and even when I was younger I saw a lot of people were struggling and on the streets with drug addiction and mental illness and I thought, ‘What could I do?'”
The idea is simple: Ionis raises money on GoFundMe to buy the food and supplies, he packages them in bags and then goes out with volunteers and a guardian to various camps to deliver the goods. The bags typically consist of items like chips and protein, such as sausages or sardines.
“The reason we have sardines in the bag is they are very easy to open and super easy to just eat right there,” he said.
Ionis says he has never felt unsafe in any of the five big deliveries he’s coordinated and that usually, people are happy to accept a bag.
The teenager has raised about $2,500 so far for supplies and plans to keep going, hoping to create a more empathetic society.
“Society was saying, ‘Okay, we don’t care about them,’ and that’s not right,” Ionis said. “We should care about everyone. Everyone deserves a second chance in life, everyone deserves a happy life.”
To help Ionis with his Giving Bag Initiative, click here.